Monday, December 30, 2013

Bioluminescent creature stuffed animals


Our next project we worked on for over 2 months but we covered SO much! Since we had previously worked with how we could make art with light, I thought it would be interesting to explore living organisms that are bioluminescent-which means they create their own light. We watched videos, read excerpts from articles and discussed bioluminescence. The kids broke into groups and each completed a mini-research assignment on a specific bioluminescent organism.
After I felt like they had a good grasp on why an organism would use bioluminescence to survive in it's environment, I gave them brainstorming worksheets to invent a creature that could make it's own light. The creature had to use the light to survive somewhere on earth- sky, air or land.
They sketched and planned their creatures and then I gave them two pieces of fabric. They drew their creature on one fabric and then traced a mirror image onto the second fabric.
Now the fun part began ;). I stocked up on a bunch of glow in the dark paint and between turning the lights off and on we painted our creatures over the next couple of weeks. Listening to them get so excited when they saw the glowing areas on their creatures was wonderful! They had worked so hard to plan and execute their pieces. Next I just needed to teach them how to sew so we could turn them into stuffed animals ;).

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Light Drawing self assessment


After our light drawing sessions I printed out a few photographs for each child to keep. As they studied their photographs we talked about what they thought and how the images turned out. I asked them to answer 4 questions for me as a reflection. I started with just asking them to describe the project and the type of lights that they used. Then they were asked to explain their feelings about making light drawings and if they did this again, what they would change. I loved reading their ideas and feelings toward the project!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Light drawing compilation video!!

Most of the time that I'm in my classroom with my kids I think in my mind "My goodness, it can't get much more fun than this!" but with THIS project I am fully convinced that I'll never have more fun than this!!!

The first thing we are exploring in art this year is light. I feel like light can be overlooked when making art but it can be a strong tool to use. I also want my kids to know that successful artists do not have be talented in drawing!! Drawing is wonderful-- but it is simply one tool, one talent in an endless amount of options to express themselves through art making. We looked at some work by James Turrell and Dan Flavin so they could see the gorgeousness that working with light can produce. We talked about those pieces being "installations" and really changing your experience while you are viewing them.

So in our first project we are "light drawing"- it's a photographic process that leaves the camera's shutter open for longer than usual, capturing the light's movement.

The kids pick a variety of LED light sources and they make movements in the air while I snap away on my camera. You can imagine I have a lot of excited kiddos playing with LED lights! It's such a gift to see how engaged they are.

I'm only halfway through my classes so far and I have over 1200 pictures- whew! I put just a fraction of them here on this video to share ;). I'll print one or two from each child to take home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

End of the year teacher gifts

Before I finally start making art with the students tomorrow during my classes I thought I would post the teacher gifts that we made at the end of last year. I used the hand made papers that each child made and painted with similes or alliteration illustration. 

I cut out circles of wood with my jig saw then I glued the hand made papers around the edge. I topped it with a circular mirror and edged the mirror with different yarns to finish it off. The hard part was adding the hardware in the back to hang the frame ;).

On the back of each frame I glued an envelope and had the kids write a note to their teacher. I tucked the notes into the envelope in hopes that their teachers will read them again at a later date and remember how loved they are!!


With each frame we also made a coffee mug for each teacher ;).

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Light Drawing

My summer is officially over- us teachers start back full time tomorrow. That makes me incredibly sad because I've had such a great time with my own 3 kids this summer.....but it also gets me excited to start sharing everything that I have planned for this year in my class!!!

I think a lot about how I can bring science and technology into the art room.
 I remembered Picasso's light drawing photos- he stands in his shorts drawing in the air with light, his figure is slightly transparent. I recalled how we did the same technique in college with film cameras and found that it's just as simple with a DSLR. So I went shopping on Amazon.....I bought finger LED lights, these LED fireflies, lots of glow stick products and this stuff called EL wire (glo wire)'s awesome!!

I practiced with all of my kids (they are 4, 6 and 8 and each of them had a blast!!). We have been playing around with ideas the past month. Each light source gives a different look to the final photograph. I'll explain more about my actual lesson when I do it with my students but for now, here are some of our favorite images. SO MUCH FUN!!!!

firefly LED lights

practicing "writing" his name- finger LED lights

my daughter drawing a heart with an LED finger light

all 3 kids dancing like maniacs with LED finger lights ;)

more dancing- I love that you can vaguely see their little legs

Oh my goodness the EL wire- isn't it awesome!!??

EL wire- love his flip flops ;)

my husband jump roping with the EL wire!

the kids are on their scooters here- Laci has a finger light on her handle bars and Ryan has the EL wire wrapped around his scooter

again, on their scooters

this time on their scooters we put the EL wire on strobe so it was going off and on....simply incredible!!

 What I adore about working with this was that they gained knowledge about photography exposure, LED lights (technology), they were able to move their bodies in any way they could think of to create an art work and they had the chance to really experiment with the material....they were strapping finger lights and making light poles, wrapping up their bikes, legs, skateboards, they strapped lights to their ears, to hot wheels, stuck them inside balloons- the list goes on and on! Can't wait to show it to my students!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The end of the year exhibition....

I painted boards with Chalkboard paint,
and then was able to write the student's names underneath-was nice and flexible!
Prints made by a kindergarten class for their non-fiction writings ;)

  The simile paintings that we made on their handmade paper.


I printed and displayed tons of photos so the parents were able to see the process and get a glimpse of what we do in class. My hope was that seeing the pictures would prompt the parents and students to talk about what they worked on this year.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Paper making!

 We have been super busy making paper these past few weeks! I have big plans for the paper ;)- but for now I'll just share the process. We used the tin can paper making method- really easy, inexpensive and creates a cool little circle of paper. I lined the project up with earth day so we had the opportunity to talk about recycling and not wasting. It was really heartwarming to see the kids faces and excitement while making the paper and I even had students tell me they went home after class with me and their parents made paper with them at home- LOVE IT!! :))

                           Some of the papers in our "press".

                                   Awwww- sweet notes that my 3rd graders leave me at the end of the day- THIS MAKES MY WEEK when I find they have written kind things to me. NOTHING beats working with kids!
                    First we our the paper "slurry" into the can.
            Then we spend lots of time squishing the water out of our paper "patty".
              A nice piece of paper- ready to put in the press.
                Keeping the names on the paper is no easy task ;))).

More sweet notes!